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Allen Wins, Game Recaps, Video Highlights, Allen Can Tie Series Tonight

Saturday, May 13th
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Allen snapped its 10-game losing streak against Idaho in style last night with a 7-2 victory over the Steelheads. Another sellout crowd (5059) watched in dismay as the Americans scored four answered goals after Idaho scored the first goal of the game just 89 seconds after the opening puck drop. The Americans scored four goals in their first 11 shots of the game. There are so many story lines in this victory. Here are a few of them.

– Allen was playing shorthanded to start the game. Defensemen Zachary Massicotte and Colton Saucerman were not available, so the Americans had only four defensemen in the lineup. Forward Colby McAuley, who has some experience at defense in the past, became Allen’s fifth defenseman. With McAuley moving to the blue line and Spencer Asuchak suspended for two games, the Americans were down to nine forwards. To make matters worse Mikael Robidoux was given a game misconduct penalty (spearing) at 12:09 of the second period, so Allen played the last half of the game with eight forwards.

– It is obvious Allen made a decision that the only way the Americans were going to win in Idaho was by playing a much more physical game. It didn’t work so well in the 6-2 loss on Wednesday, but Allen clearly had Idaho playing the Americans game last night. Prior to the last two games in Idaho, the Americans were the least penalized team in the playoffs averaging just seven penalty minutes per game. Here are the playoff penalty minute stats for Allen:

  • 49 penalty minutes – Total PIMS for first seven games of the playoffs.
  • 48 penalty minutes – PIMS in 6-2 loss in Idaho on Wednesday.
  • 65 penalty minutes – PIMS in 7-2 win in Idaho last night.
  • In two games Allen’s PIMS rank went from dead last (7.00 PIMS per game) to #5 with a PIMS average of 18.00.

– I said in the preview yesterday if Allen was going to turn around this series the big four (Combs, Crone, Finlay, Hargrove) will have to play a bigger role. They certainly delivered on that expectation. All four contributed and the group scored Allen’s first three goals and four of the first five goals. The final tally for the group was nine points (4G, 5A). Hank Crone was selected #1 star of the game with four points (1G, 3A).

– The stats were not all good despite the impressive five goal margin of victory. For the second straight game Allen allowed 56 shots on goal. There have been 61 playoff games thus far and the most shots allowed (other than the 56 allowed by Allen) is 51. Last night Allen had a shooting percentage of 25% and Idaho had a shooting percentage of 3.6%. Both of these percentages are outliers that neither team will sustain. Thus far the in playoffs Allen’s shooting percentage is 9.4% and Idaho’s is 7.7%. The bottom line is Allen cannot expect to win tonight giving up 50 shots.

– Stick taps to goalie Chase Perry who was the difference maker in the game last night. Perry was making his first start of the playoffs and first start of any kind in a month. All he did was stop 54 of 56 shots, the most saves of any game in the Kelly Cup playoffs. His save percentage was .964.

– Allen goals scorers were Colton Hargrove (4,5), Liam Finlay (2), Chad Butcher (2), Hank Crone (1), Grant Hebert (2) and Justin Young (1).  Here are the video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/5/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads—may-12-2023-71trI4h1

– Here are the game recaps from both teams with the details:

Allen Americans game recap including plenty of post-game quotes: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-score-early-and-often-in-7-2-victory-over-idaho/

Idaho Steelheads game recap: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-slip-in-game-three-still-hold-series-lead-2-1

TONIGHT’S PREVIEW

– Allen will be playing shorthanded again tonight, the question is how many players short. The only possible addition is Massicotte who is listed as day to day, but it is unlikely he will play tonight. It is possible Allen will lose Robidoux to a suspension after his game misconduct for spearing last night. The applicable rule (Rule 62 – Spearing) calls for an automatic game misconduct if the referee calls a major (5 minute) spearing penalty. That rule does not come with an automatic suspension but says supplementary discipline can be applied at the discretion of the Commissioner. If you watch the replay, it does not look like something that will end up with a suspension.

– Playing physical is clearly part of the game plan for Allen and that is fine, but the Americans took 40 minutes of misconduct penalties last night. With a short bench and another game on Sunday the Americans have to be more disciplined in taking misconduct penalties.

– Special teams were even last night, Allen was 1-3 on the power play, Idaho was 1-4. Allen has scored one power play goal in all three games against Idaho for a power play percentage of 33.3% (3-9). Idaho has a power play percentage of 27.3% (3-11). If Allen can win the special teams battle tonight it would be a big boost.

– Allen has allowed 19 or 20 shots in four of the six periods in the first two games in Idaho and had less then 10 shots (4, 8, 9, 9) in four of the six periods. You can talk all about quality shots and perimeter shots, but the fact is allowing an average of 56 shots per game while taking an average of 26, as has been the case in the first two games in Idaho, is not the formula for continued success.

– You can’t emphasize enough the importance of playing with the lead. Allen and Idaho combined are undefeated in the playoffs when leading after the first period (6-0) and leading after the second period (6-0).

OTHER COMMENTS

– Toledo beat Cincinnati 9-2 last night to sweep the Cyclones and become the first team to advance to the conference finals. Toledo awaits the winner of the Allen vs Idaho series. Toledo is a perfect 8-0 in the playoffs and will be the freshest of the four teams playing in the conference finals. The other three conference finalists will have 10-12 games played entering the conference finals.

– The three undecided division finals will be in action tonight. Two of the three games are elimination games. Here are the previews from ECHL Today: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/5/echl-today-may-13

  • North Division – #1 Newfoundland plays #2 Reading at home. The Growlers lead the series 3-1.
  • South Division: #4 Florida leads #2 Jacksonville 3-1 and plays at home.
  • Mountain Division: #1 Idaho leads #2 Allen 2-1 and plays at home.

DID YOU KNOW: Average goals per game scored and allowed for the seven teams remaining in the ECHL playoffs:GOALS FOR4.88 – Toledo*4.78 – Newfoundland3.60 – Reading3.33 – Idaho3.10 – Florida2.90 – Jacksonville2.89 – AllenGOALS AGAINST1.75 – Toledo*2.10 – Florida2.67 – Allen2.89 – Newfoundland3.20 – Jacksonville3.33 – Idaho3.70 – Reading*Toledo is the only team that has already advanced to the conference finals.

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